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Island History : George Green’s School Days – A Living Legacy

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In recent months, I have written about some of the many initiatives looking into the history of the Island. The latest initiative is an exciting project being undertaken by George Green’s School, they have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to enable a group of young people from the school to investigate the school’s links to local history connected to shipbuilding, the docks, and the development of Docklands.

Laurence, Samuel, 1812-1884; George Green (1767-1849)

Laurence, Samuel; George Green (1767-1849); National Maritime Museum

The young people will learn research skills by exploring the Island History Trust collection at Tower Hamlets’ Local History Archives and visiting the National Maritime Museum which holds material connected to George Green and his family. Students will take part in activities such as photography with well-known photographer Mike Seaborne, and be trained in oral history interviewing by Eastside Community Heritage. They will produce an exhibition of photographs, a book and an exhibition of images and text. National Maritime Museum curators will also provide them with a workshop on how to create their own ‘pop up museum’. The project will form the central theme of two large scale public events and exhibitions in the Autumn, where young people and the local community come together to exchange ideas and memories and celebrate the local heritage of this unique part of East London.

Dixon, William, 1775-1830; View of Mr Perry's Yard, Blackwall

Dixon, William; View of Mr Perry’s Yard, Blackwall; National Maritime Museum

George Green was an interesting character who was an apprentice at Perry’s famous Blackwall yard which built and repaired many of the ships owned by the East India Company. In 1796, Green married Perry’s daughter and gradually took over parts of the company. In the 1820’s , George Green founded a line of popular passenger sailing vessels to India and Australia, known as the Blackwall frigates and became involved in the whaling trade. He made a considerable fortune and retired in the 1830s to undertake philanthropic works which included almshouses, sailors homes, a chapel and schools, the first George Green’s School was founded in 1828 in East India Dock Road.

Callow, H. J.; The Blackwall Frigate 'Maidstone' at Sea

Callow, H. J.; The Blackwall Frigate ‘Maidstone’ at Sea; National Maritime Museum

This year George Green’s School, will be 40 years old on its current site on the Isle of Dogs. The project will celebrate the history and heritage of the school with young people  making connections with members of the local community and ex-pupils to collect personal memories of the school, both at its current location on the Isle of Dogs, and on its previous site in Poplar.

If you went to George Green’s School when it was in Poplar or on the Island and would like to share your memories, the project would like to hear from you.

For further information you can contact Jane O’Sullivan at George Green’s School via email at josullivan@georgegreens.com or telephone 0207 967 6032 ext 527

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Isle of Dogs 2

Another set of Eric Pemberton’s postcards, these include a set of early cards from the creation of Canary Wharf.


A postcard from the early 20th Century, this was a popular shopping area at the time.


Another early 20th Century postcard with trams, horse drawn wagons.


Postcards from 1991 showing the creation of the Canary Wharf district.


More from the 1991 series


An early DLR train coming from the old Island Gardens which went above the viaduct not underground as it does now.


DLR Car 30 at Crossharbour 3.35 pm 30.10.91.  Still Short Platform Station and the London Arena Still Standing.


A comic postcard

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This School was based on the East India Dock Road, George Green was a local successful shopbuilder who set up almhouses, seaman missions and especially schools in the East End.

The latest George Green school is now situated at the bottom end of the Isle of Dogs.

Other Post you may find interesting

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Isle of Dogs

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Limehouse